Shatter or Wax? Cannabis Extracts Made Simple
Shatter? Oil? Wax? Bet you’ve heard the names. A trend is big now, and more and more cannabis users are trying cannabis extracts.
These names refer to BHO (butane hash oil) or CO2 oil, with a relatively rare addition of other similar hydrocarbon extracts. You may think that all these extraction methods and substances bear significant differences, but an actual distinction is not that big.
A cannabis extract is any oil with the highest possible concentration of cannabinoids like THC or CBD. Such substances are a product of special extraction processes. The most common solvents used in the manufacturing is butane. Current technology advancements gave rise to carbon dioxide and pure hydrocarbons solvents. For the end product, we get a highly potent oil of varying consistencies, popular for vaporizing and dabbing.
So, what’s an actual difference between substances? Let’s dive in.
Shatters are known for their amber glass transparency. People believe that they are the purest extract. However, it’s not exactly correct – the reason why shatter is so clear and transparent is its chemical composition. During its production, molecules remain undisturbed, and it leads to shatter’s signature appearance. Some factors also affect the texture. For example, denser and darker oil that resembles sap looks so due to other amounts of heat, moisture, and terpenes. Oils in-between of sap and shatter are called ‘pull-and-snap.’
Wax are known for their soft, opaque texture without any transparency. A chemical composition of the wax suggests that the molecules crystallize as a result of agitation. Molecular density becomes uneven, and light cannot travel through them.
Wax can also differ based on heat, moisture, and the texture of the oil before residual solvents are removed from the product. Fluid oils are used to produce gooey waxes known as ‘budder,’ while denser and thicker provide a soft texture called ‘crumble’ or ‘honeycomb.’
The Bottom Line
Extracting requires much knowledge. Every step demands a balance of art and science. You need to select material carefully, prepare chemicals, organize production and make sure your purging process and storage capacities are on the point. It’s safe to say that extraction is an emerging craft that requires a lot of consideration and attention. As consumers, we can only guess where this process will take us.